Affordable college is available

By Bill Rhodarmer

I read with interest a recent column in a local news publication concerning the high cost of a college education and the debt often incurred by students and families — up to $50,000 for a four-year degree. In the column, the editor indicated that the only way to lessen the high cost and associated debt was for the state and federal governments to become more involved in controlling costs and providing more student aid.

Bush attitude toward global warming is growing stale fast

When the administration of George Bush argued Nov. 29 before the Supreme Court that the EPA did not have the authority to regulate carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, it was doing this country and its people a monumental disservice. In truth, it’s not a stretch to argue that the current administration’s premise in this case and its continued ignoring of global warming is detrimental to all of mankind.

Reinstating draft could be a good thing

Jan. 20, 1961. Inauguration Day. The words that stuck in the minds and hearts of all citizens: “Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country,” said President John F. Kennedy.

The joy of jogging was the eating

There was a time, about 18 years and 80 pounds ago, that I actually enjoyed jogging. I was never exactly a marathon man, but I could run six miles without much problem.

Sylva’s elected leaders should take the lead

Downtown Sylva Association members are doing all the legwork on discussing the creation of a special downtown taxing district. At a point in the near future, however, town of Sylva leaders are going to be forced to take a stand on this issue. We hope they realize the value of such a district to the whole town and move forward with what could be a long-term economic development tool.

Backroom deals should all just go away

In the years I’ve been going to Swain County, David Monteith has emerged as a barometer of sorts. One may disagree with Monteith on a particular issue, but the independent-thinking county commissioner can almost always be counted on to vote with a conscience, a commitment to what he feels is right.

The meaning of this one escapes me

When tragedy strikes and someone we know is suddenly gone, we are still compelled to go looking for them in some strange, sad way. We find them in memories so bright, vivid, and distinct that it seems we could simply open our eyes and be right there with them again, picking up on the same conversation, putting our hand on their shoulder in a sympathetic gesture, grinning over something silly we both saw on TV last week. I mean, they were RIGHT THERE just a moment ago, so how can we not keep looking for them?

Haywood slope law not as good as it could be

Here’s the main problem with the slope development ordinance passed last week by Haywood County commissioners: it wasn’t the ordinance the public had a chance to discuss and debate at the public hearing held just over a month ago.

What the system needs now

By Mark Jaben

In an earlier column, I discussed whether cutting costs should be the underlying motive for our health care system. Unfortunately, there is something even more fundamental that has been cut along the way.

A prime time for North Shore debate to end

It’s time to end this debate.With another pro-settlement county board, the election of Swain Count native and pro-settlement congressman Heath Shuler, a new study showing the economic benefits of a cash settlement and an ever-increasing price tag for construction, it’s time once and for all for Western North Carolina’s leaders to take advantage of the moment and demand a cash settlement of at least $52 million in lieu of the construction of the North Shore Road.

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